Honda B12 Service Code

What is the Honda B12 service? [MEANING & COST]

If you own any modern Honda, then you probably have the luxury of receiving a pretty nifty code when it’s time for its scheduled “checkup”.

One such code is “B12”. No, it’s not some unheard-of B-Series engine code, nor is it a reminder that you’ve been letting VTEC (b20 vtec builds) kick in too much.

So what are you exactly getting out of the Honda B12 code? The short answer is “a lot of services”, and we’ll also give you the longer version in this guide so you’ll know what to expect before taking a trip to the mechanic!

What does the Honda B12 service code mean?

What does the Honda B12 service code mean

Honda has its own way of reminding owners of its more modern models that it’s just about time to pay a visit to the service center, and that is by showing “minder codes” on the dashboard.

One of these minder codes is the Honda B12 service code, which is actually multiple codes that pertain to different kinds of maintenance services all compiled into one.

Through each letter or number in a Honda maintenance minder code, the mechanic will be able to tell which specific aspect of the vehicle needs to be serviced, replaced, or refilled.

For example, the “B” in the B12 code is one of the main Honda service codes which means that the vehicle requires an oil change, an oil filter change, and general inspection and maintenance for the brake components.

As for the numbers, such as “1” and “2”, these are all Honda service “sub-codes” that refer to more specific tasks.

A “1” in a Honda service code means that the tires need to be rotated (tire rotation), while a “2” means that the air filters for both the engine and the interior cabin need to be replaced.

The Importance of Getting Your Honda Serviced on Time

The Importance of Getting Your Honda Serviced on Time

Just as you would go for an annual health checkup, your Honda will also need to eventually visit the dealership or a trusted mechanic for its regular maintenance.

While there are obviously tons of things that need maintaining on a car, you’re not necessarily going to have them all done at once, which is why each specific maintenance task has its own service interval.

Whether it’s Honda or any other brand, there’s always a recommended interval, or in other words, the frequency or number of miles, that a certain part or fluid can last on the car before it needs to get serviced.

For instance, oil changes for Hondas are usually performed every 5,000 to 10,000 miles on the odometer. But then again, the exact mileage can also be dependent on the kind of motor oil that you choose to use.

To keep track of things easier, Hondas typically have their maintenance schedules and intervals included in their owner’s manuals. 

Some modern Hondas even come with a system that notifies you when it’s time to get your car serviced by showing a code. 

What are the maintenance tasks included in the Honda B12 service?

Oil Change/Oil Filter Change (B)

Oil Change/Oil Filter Change (B)

As with any vehicle that comes with an internal combustion engine, Hondas will eventually require an oil change and oil filter change at some point in time, which is what the “B” stands for in the B12 code.

The recommended oil change mileage for Hondas can vary depending on your specific model, the age of the engine, and even the type of oil used, though it’s usually every 7,500 miles on average.

If synthetic oil is used, then it can last for as long as 10,000 miles on a Honda, while non-synthetic or conventional oil should be replaced more frequently at every 5,000 miles.

However, when we talk about the length of time in between oil changes, the universal recommendation is every 6 months to a year at most, depending on how often you drive without reaching the 5,000-mile mark yet.

The general rule of thumb is to go with whichever interval comes first. This means if you’ve already crossed 5,000 miles on conventional oil in under 6 months, then that’s already a good time to get your oil changed.

Tire Rotation (1)

Tire Rotation (1)

Tire rotations are another common procedure done as part of a Honda’s (or any vehicle’s) regular maintenance. If you receive any Honda service code that has a “1” on it, then that’s a sub-code that means your car is due for a tire rotation.

The goal of a tire rotation procedure is to ensure that all four tires wear out evenly as you rack up the miles on your car. With even wear on the treads, your tires will be able to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride quality.

This is achieved by swapping the wheels with each other in a particular pattern depending on the vehicle’s drivetrain and the type of tire used.

Since most Hondas have an FWD (front-wheel-drive) system, the primary tire rotation pattern used for them would be the “forward cross” pattern.

The forward cross pattern takes the front wheels and switches them with the rear wheels without switching sides, while the rear wheels are then crossed over to the front at opposite sides.

Another alternative to rotating tires on an FWD vehicle is the “X-pattern”, which crosses both the front and rear wheels to the opposite side of where they were originally from.

Another alternative to rotating tires on an FWD vehicle is the “X-pattern”, which crosses both the front and rear wheels to the opposite side of where they were originally from.

However, if your Honda comes with directional tires, which have treads that are designed to roll and perform optimally in only one direction, then a “straight rotation” pattern should be used.

A straight rotation pattern neither crosses the front or rear wheels, but rather only swaps them backward or forward. This ensures that the directional tire treads still face forward after rotating.

A straight rotation pattern neither crosses the front or rear wheels, but rather only swaps them backward or forward.

Before we forget, Honda recommends a tire rotation interval of every 5,000 to 7,500 miles of driving for both its FWD and RWD (rear-wheel-drive) models.

Engine and Cabin Air Filters (2)

Engine and Cabin Air Filters (2)

The Honda B12 service code also includes a specific service to change your air filters, which is what the “2” in the code exactly stands for.

Now, it’s important to mention that the service will be inspecting and replacing two different air filters for your vehicle, namely the engine air filter and the cabin air filter.

As its name suggests, the engine air filter connects to the engine’s air intake, making it fairly easy to access and even replace yourself. It’s mainly tasked to prevent any foreign particles from being sucked into the engine and potentially affecting its performance.

The cabin air filter also works in a very similar way, except that it’s located in the interior of your Honda (usually inside the glovebox) and works to keep the interior air clean and free of any pollutants.

As for their service intervals, air filters are typically changed every 15,000 to 30,000 miles depending on how often you drive and the conditions of your area. 

You may need to change them even sooner if you frequently drive in areas with higher concentrations of pollution.

Both engine air filters and cabin air filters are relatively cheap to have serviced, but you’ll obviously get the best bang for your buck if you are able to replace them properly yourself.

Brake Inspection (B)

Brake Inspection (B)

The “B” in the Honda B12 service code doesn’t just include the typical oil change procedure, but also general maintenance tasks for the braking system.

Of course, before replacing anything, a thorough inspection of the brakes will be carried out, which can include checking the car’s brake pads, rotors, parking brake, and brake lines.

Afterward, both the front and rear brakes are usually cleaned of any dirt or debris and then lubricated accordingly. In addition, adjustments to the parking brake may be performed if necessary.

The brake pads, in particular, are one of the main wear-and-tear components of any vehicle, and Honda recommends changing them every 40,000 to 50,000 miles on average depending on how often you drive as well as your own driving habits.

Replacing your Honda’s brake fluid, on the other hand, is usually performed every 3 to 5 years. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the exact interval and brake fluid recommendation for your particular Honda model.

Suspension Inspection

Another maintenance task that’s commonly paired with the Honda B12 service is inspecting the different suspension system components. This task is usually performed alongside the brake inspection.

Your suspension system is responsible for providing comfort and handling stability as your wheels travel on any road surface, so there are a lot of parts underneath that are subject to every single bump you hit or every corner you turn.

It’s for this reason that your suspension components need to be inspected from time to time. These can include shock absorbers, springs, tie rods, and bushings.

When driving under normal conditions, the Honda Maintenance Schedule recommends getting your suspension inspected every 20,000 miles (32,000 km) or 12 months, whichever comes first.

Drive Belt Inspection

Drive Belt Inspection

Whenever you go and have your Honda serviced under the B12 code, it’s also common practice for mechanics to inspect your drive belt’s condition, especially if it’s already been at least two years since the last inspection.

The drive belt, also called the “serpentine belt”, mainly powers auxiliary (accessory) components of the engine, such as the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air conditioning.

Since the drive belt is subject to its own share of wear and tear as it wraps around various components, it may also need an adjustment every now and then depending on its condition.

As we’ve hinted earlier, Honda drive belts are recommended to be inspected and possibly adjusted every 24 months (2 years). 

However, if you’ve already crossed the 30,000-mile (48,000 km) mark before that point, then you should already have it checked just to be sure. Again, it’s another case of whichever of the two intervals comes first.

Inspecting and Replacing Other Essential Fluids

Aside from the engine oil, there are several other essential fluids on your Honda that are usually looked into when you go in for a B12 service.

Such fluids can include your coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and the brake fluid discussed earlier. After tens of thousands of miles of driving, all of these can either turn dirty or decrease in level, especially when leaks are present.

This is why every reservoir or hose that keeps these fluids in will also need to be inspected, as any kind of damage done to them can potentially cause them to leak and even reduce your car’s performance in that aspect.

As with any other serviceable component on your Honda, each one of these essential fluids will have its own recommended change intervals, which can slightly vary depending on your particular vehicle and driving habits.

Hence, we suggest checking your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the exact mileage or interval that you should replace these fluids. They will usually be listed as part of a table on the “Maintenance Schedule” page.

How much does it cost to have your Honda serviced?

How much does it cost to have your Honda serviced

When it comes to maintenance costs for just about any make and model, the price can vary a lot depending on what work needs to be done at that interval. Of course, you can expect the price to easily reach 3 figures if more tasks are required.

To give you an idea, a typical oil change, which also includes swapping out the oil filter for a new one, costs about $20 to $40 for a Honda if you were to do it yourself. It’ll be about $70 on average if you have a mechanic to do the dirty work.

However, an oil change is also usually paired with a tire rotation procedure, like in the case of the Honda B12 service. That can easily rack up the total cost to over $100 at this point.

When getting your Honda serviced at the dealer or whatever trusted mechanic you know, you also have to factor in the number of hours that they’ll be working on the car on top of the total price for the parts alone.

And again, even the part prices can also depend on your Honda vehicle model. Obviously, a Honda NSX will not have the same parts costs as a base model CR-V.

Honda B12 Service Tasks You Can Do Yourself

Oil Change

Investing the time and effort in learning how to do a proper oil change for your Honda at home can save hundreds of dollars in the long run, as opposed to paying for a B12 service each time.

Now, you don’t necessarily need one of those big oil drain tanks that they prop up under your car as it’s up on the lift, nor do you need the lift itself.

A simple oil drain pan + funnel combo will suffice and will be a lot cheaper, and your typical hydraulic jack and jack stands will allow you to gain access to the oil drain plug under your Honda. 

Even putting some wheel chocks under your tires will be enough if your car is not that low to the ground.

In addition, your standard toolbox set will already have all the wrenches, sockets, and ratchets necessary for the oil change.

While it’s a DIY job, be sure to still use the recommended oil grade and oil filter, and follow the recommended oil change interval for your particular Honda model. 

Air Filter Change

Changing your Honda’s air filters is also another service task that you can do yourself, as they’re pretty straightforward to install.

The engine air filter can be easily accessed under the hood, while the cabin air filter is usually found in the interior glovebox.

Depending on the kind of air filter you go for, they usually cost around $20 to $40 apiece. If you already have a toolbox at home, then that’s all that you’re really going to pay for to replace your air filters.

Replacing Fluids

Apart from your Honda’s engine oil, there are several fluids on your car that can also be easily replaced or refilled by yourself.

Whether it’s the coolant, brake fluid, or even windshield washer fluid, all of them have their respective reservoirs and caps appropriately labeled within your engine bay.

Just like last time, you should follow the recommended fluids and intervals that are stated in your Honda owner’s manual.

How do you reset the Honda B12 service light/notification?

Do take note that the procedure above may vary depending on your Honda model and year, so you may have to explore a bit using your vehicle’s menu buttons usually located on the steering wheel.

How long can you drive after getting the B12 service notice?

What are the recommended service intervals for a Honda?

What is the difference between Honda Service A and B?

A Honda “A Service” only refers to an oil and filter change, while the “B Service” also includes changing the air filters and checking the braking system components.

What is included in the Honda B12 service?

The Honda B12 service mainly includes an oil and filter change, cabin and engine air filter change, braking system inspection, and tire rotation.
Other tasks that are usually performed along with the B12 service include a drive belt inspection and fluid inspection/refill.

What are some examples of Honda service codes?